I have missed some of my “writing slots.” Ironically, I don’t have anything life changing reasons…the day to day rolled on and I was “riding the waves.”
Ministry in a church definitely has its cycles. You know when people are going to attend the most (start of a new year and the school year) and when they attend the least (financial series, Spring Break, and the week after Christmas.) Ministry for the individual does not have cycles. You truly have the opportunity each day to feel close/ distant to the Lord, celebrate a win or mourn a deep loss. In most situations, you will be the one leading others through their journey dealing with life’s circumstances. You learn to listen to God, help them celebrate/ work through the situation. You learn that your time to enjoy or mourn will come later. And when you set aside that time, you learn how fragile you are and you lead yourself through it.
In the last few weeks, I have heard about more deaths or lives in critical places. It has produced some tremendously painful responses and has left people with questions that are out of my league. Ironically, I have been to three weddings and heard some of the best life changes one can imagine during this same time frame. To see the faces, smiles and laughter, it makes you can’t wait to see what happens next!
In my time of reflection, I asked myself this question. “What is a common thread when God is involved in all of these situations?” This is one pretty broad spectrum of positive and negative life events – where is God? The word that came to mind – HOPE. As I stayed there, I pictured a very tiny seed in the ground and it went from a sprout to a strong tree.
When someone has a relationship with the Lord, there is always hope. Why? If God truly has no limits, is all-knowing, all-powerful – then He can do anything in a situation to make it better. Hope means there is peace and comfort to those mourning. Hope means there is a new step to be taken by newlyweds. Hope means there is an answer to questions that leave us dumbfounded. Hope means that new step is worth the taking. Hope means we are not alone when we feel isolated. And hope allows us the joy of being in relationship with others.
I write this on a day where a little guy who wasn’t supposed to make it as a newborn…well, he turned 5 today.
Sometimes, hope wins.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”